Sea change in web advertising

Although this article got talked up on the web, few seemed to understand how important this data is, and why it signals a favorable Microsoft/Yahoo balance against Google in the next generation:

The study illustrates that heavy clickers represent just 6% of the online population yet account for 50% of all display ad clicks. While many online media companies use click-through rate as an ad negotiation currency, the study shows that heavy clickers are not representative of the general public. In fact, heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage. Heavy clickers are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers. ^

Ouch! This means that many of those great online sales leads clicking away may be the same audience who are targetted by garden-variety spam. This of course threatens Google’s dominance of the adsphere, because they specialize in ads without tracking, and throws the balance to companies like Microsoft and Yahoo who offer a wider range of social networking-styled services to get users to log in, so that their searches can be tracked and better ad targetting can exist.

In other terms, hitting this 50%-6% audience is easy, because they’re going to visit the most basic and spammy services the net has to offer. Advertisers are increasingly going to want ads for, as an example, high-end laptops, to be directed to the audience that not only likes the product but has the wherewithal to buy it. The recent rush by Google to get people into online mesh applications is part of their desire to adapt to this new reality, as is Gmail. Want to bet their internal metrics, six months before Gmail’s launch, revealed this same trend?

2 Responses to “Sea change in web advertising”

  1. [...] internet traffic, suddenly the oldest and more probable threat rises up to meet us. As advertisers find out they were advertising to the wrong demographic, and that Google’s miracle may have been built on as much adsense hot air as anything else, [...]

  2. [...] blogged about before, internet advertising is changing from per-click to per-customer. Advertisers want to be selling to a person or [...]

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